By George Psyllides
OPPOSITION parties on Saturday criticised the government over a Turkish Cypriot document filed at the United Nations that spoke of a “long-defunct” Republic of Cyprus.
The criticism was quickly dismissed by the foreign ministry, which described it as a routine document, filed each time the Republic complained about Turkish violations of the island’s airspace.
The Turkish Cypriot document, submitted to the UN through Turkey’s permanent mission, was published by Sigmalive and daily newspaper Simerini, which dedicated close to two pages on the matter.
First to criticise was Giorgos Lillikas’ Citizens’ Alliance, which accused the government of “artfully” hiding the document because it damaged its propaganda – regarding the good climate in the talks – and proved its naivety and delusion over the contents of a solution accepted by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides sought to put things into perspective, suggesting that Lillikas, himself a former foreign minister, should have known that every two to three months the Republic’s permanent mission put together all the violations of the airspace by the Turkish air force, and reported it to the UN.
This “routine” document is circulated to all members and is more or less identical to previous ones, the minister said.
In response, the Turkish mission also circulates a letter from the breakaway state, which includes their “usual” reply.
The minister said the parties ought to know that the talks were not conducted between states, whatever the claims of the Turkish side may be, but in the framework of the UN Secretary-General’s good offices mission and the UN Security Council resolutions.
DIKO also commented on the document, which in its view proved the false good climate “which the government and the leaderships of DISY and AKEL” are trying to convince us of.
The party which, like the Citizens’ Alliance, opposes the basis of the current talks accused Anastasiades of misleading the people and hurting the Republic by making concessions for the sakes of the “non existent good climate.”
House President Yiannakis Omirou said the document was a serious blow to Akinci’s credibility.
AKEL saw the reactions as a desperate effort to convince the Cypriot people that absolutely nothing had changed after Akinci replaced Dervis Eroglu.
“They probably expect that, as if by magic, Akinci and Turkey will adopt the Greek Cypriot side’s positions and thus the Cyprus problem will be solved,” AKEL MP Aristos Damianou said in written statement.
Or they are simply trying to kill the hope for a solution together with the prospect of liberation and peaceful reunification, he added.
In its two-page letter, the breakaway state, among other things, said continuous attempts by the Greek Cypriot side, through often-repeated false statements, “to confer legitimacy upon the long-defunct ‘Republic of Cyprus’ are futile, since the Turkish Cypriot people will never give in to their unjust demands.
“Moreover, the Greek Cypriot administration should once again be reminded that its counterpart is and has always been the Turkish Cypriot side, not Turkey, and that its insistent denial of the Turkish Cypriot rights in the North of the island does not bode well for the prospect of finding a just and lasting settlement,” the letter said.
That settlement, the letter said, must be in line with the established United Nations parameters, which envisage a new partnership on the basis of political equality of the two peoples, within the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with two constituent states of equal status.